A few years ago, businesses looked at software development as a solitary project where they could assign a single developer work and expect them to complete the whole project alone. This has so far changed with businesses embracing collaborative development. Today, businesses are expecting their developers to connect with each other and share information about their code and the use of other things such as Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs).
In addition, businesses are expecting multiple developers to work together when building products. This has led to the development of tools that enable cooperation and collaboration. The sole aim of these tools is to encourage dissemination and sharing of code, and documentation, as well as enable communication between the developers. These tools are known as developer portals.
Unfortunately, some businesses build their own developer portals but fail to use them adequately. There might be several reasons for this, with one of them being poor developer portals that developers fail to use, but at the end of the day, they need to improve the portals and encourage their use.
What is a Developer Portal?
A developer portal is a platform that offers software developers the right technical information that they need to manage and configure the communication between their external and internal systems with APIs. RapidAPI has come up with a list of some portal examples that help developers generate output quickly compared to output that a single developer working on the same project alone would have generated.
Most developer portals have two parts;
- Technical documentation: This part is composed of information used to sample API calls and assemble all required resources.
- Functional documentation: This part is composed of API guides, basic flows, and status codes.
Should Businesses Adopt the Use of Developer Portals?
As discussed above, a developer portal is important to any business that wants to develop software applications. With a developer portal, businesses will be able to reap several benefits, among them;
- Encouraging Software Exploration: A developer portal makes sure that reference guides and software documentation are accessible at a centralized location. Furthermore, they make it easy for developers to access app galleries showcasing API functionality as well as the API team.
- Driving Awareness: With a developer portal, it gets easy for a business to showcase what their APIs and other software applications provide and the kind of improvements that they need. In addition, businesses can grow their presence globally while maintaining control of their core products.
- Increasing Engagement: A developer portal enables businesses to engage with their partners as well as other third parties and come up with strategies they can use jointly to market their products and encourage the development of joint software applications.
- Making Onboarding Easy: As businesses grow and more products are required, they employ more software developers. Although it might take some time before a new developer familiarises themselves with the business’ products, a developer portal simplifies this and makes onboarding quite easy. A new developer will be able to quickly join the team and develop products easier and faster.
A developer portal is not made solely for the software developers in a business. This shows how important it is. It is used by the following groups:
- API Consumers: These are the end-users of an API, in other words, those that get value from using an API.
- Developers: These are the software developers building the business software products.
- Product Owners: These are the business heads and are useful when it comes to generating ideas for features or the entire product.
- Technical Writers: Writing is part of development. Writers are responsible for generating content related to the developed products.
- Developer Advocates: These advocated are responsible for bridging the gap between the business and the developers.
- Salespeople: They are important in getting the developed products into the market as well as recruitment and business development.
A developer portal goes a long way in helping businesses come up with software applications quickly and efficiently. Businesses are now able to educate and offer technical guidelines to their developers with ease. They are enhancing collaboration and communication by offering code examples, documentation, knowledge base, and tools among others. This shows how developer portals are important to businesses.